Представяне

D-BY: Delegation for relations with Belarus

The European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY) does not currently have official relations with the parliament of Belarus, due to the country's failure to conduct free and fair elections, establish the rule of law and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

However, the Delegation, along with several political groups in the European Parliament, maintains an active and close dialogue with representatives of the country's democratic opposition, independent non-governmental organisations and civil society.

Composition

The D-BY Delegation is currently chaired by Mr Robert Biedroń. He is supported by two vice-chairs: Mr Valdemar Tomaševski and Ms Karin Karlsbro.

The Delegation counts 12 full members, supported by up to 12 substitute members. All are nominated by the European Parliament's political groups, with the political makeup of the delegation mirroring that of Parliament as a whole.

Work

The Delegation meets regularly in Brussels or Strasbourg to discuss developments in the EU's policy on Belarus, to assess the political and economic situation in Belarus and to offer recommendations regarding the evolution of the relation between the EU and Belarus, in close cooperation with other EU institutions and services, notably the European External Action Service and the European Commission.

European Parliament and EU position

Over the years, the European Parliament has closely monitored the situation with regard to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Belarus. It is high time for this important neighbouring country to come closer to the EU.

EU-Belarus relations are currently guided by the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council set out on 15 February 2016, which sanctioned the policy of "critical engagement" of the EU vis-à-vis Belarus: tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal freedoms, the rule of law, and human rights, including the freedoms of speech, expression and of media, and labour rights, will remain fundamental criteria for shaping the EU's policy towards this country.

Recent developments

Under this background, the Delegation travelled to Belarus in June 2015, July 2017 and again, at Bureau level, in October 2018. The agendas of these visits notably featured encounters with Ministers and members of the National Assembly of Belarus, but also meetings with think tanks, human rights defenders, opposition figures and representatives of the civil society.